Kalhovd, day 3
GEITEBUHOVDE, BUTJØNNUTEN, MÅRSNOS
On our 3rd day at the Kalhovd tourist hut, we experienced some of the not-so-good weather that the weather forecast had promised. It was a grey morning, but at least it wasn’t raining – yet.
I had my eyes set on a round trip hike across 3 mountain tops, and Anne decided to try her luck with her bad knee and turn back whenever she felt that would be a good idea.
After breakfast, we drove to Vestre Stegaros, between the mountain lakes Kalhovdfjorden (no it’s not a real fjord) and Mår. We decided to bike the 0,9m from the parking (fee!) to the Vestre Stegaros cabins.
From here, we followed the trail towards Stordalsbu. The trail forked south of Sprogshaugen, and we chose the southernmost trail, even if the northernmost trail was marked towards Stordalsbu.
We had a fairly easy river crossing to negotiate before continuing towards the pass between Vesle Geitebuhovde and Geitebuhovde. We had two hikers on our tail. They caught up with us just before the pass, and we had a quick chat. They were going to Stordalsbu.
At the pass, we left the trail head headed up to Geitebuhovde. We could see that a rain shower was heading our way, in a very fast pace. Along with it, fog.
We had clothes for rainy weather, but still got quite wet during our short stay on Geitebuhovde.
We headed back to the pass and Anne decided to turn back. We now took the northernmost trail back and we parted at the foothills of Butjønnuten. It stopped raining as I headed up the ridge towards the top of Butjønnuten, and why Karma and I were still wet to the bone on top, things were looking up!
Mårsnos – my 3rd top according to the original plan was still in hidden in fog, and if the fog didn’t lift, I would not attempt route finding on Mårsnos.
But as Karma and I reached the top of Butjønnuten, the fog lifted on Mårsnos.
We headed down to the drain from lake Bakketjønni and I was able to cross without getting even more wet on my feet. Karma is not so particular about wet feet and took the opportunity to get her thirst satisfied.
Mårsnos was off-trail from the beginning to the end. It would have been cumbersome to find my way up here in fog. Fortunately, the visibility was now quite good and I had a nice hike along the lakes southwest of the summit.
From the summit, we had a great view towards lake Mår. The rest of the summit view was quite monotonous, with no other mountains except for Gaustatoppen, standing out.
We had only stayed on top for a few minutes, when a couple arrived. They had a cabin at Vestre Steganos and as I had planned to descend to the east (Nosaskard), they hesitated in recommending this as an option. So instead, we descended south to a distinct valley which would have led us to the parking. However, I had to get back to the bike and ended up in very agonizing terrain above Vestre Stegaros.
I was back at the car, after a 17,3km, 690 vertical meters and 5 hour hike.
A bit later in the afternoon, Anne wanted to go kayaking in lake Haraldsjå and suggested that I could come along and hike Grottehovda in the meantime. That sounded like an excellent suggestion and away we went.
After giving her a hand with the kayak, I drove to nedre Grottetjørn, parked and decided to go off-trail directly to the top. I could see a path, but had no idea where it was going.
The off-trail hike up was agonizing. Terrible terrain. But with only 220 vertical meters – something I could live with.
From the top, I had a good view towards Haraldsjå, but I couldn’t see Anne, even in the zoom lens. I decided to descend along the path down the east ridge, assuming it would lead us back to the trailhead. It did.
Back at Haraldsjå, I still couldn’t see Anne, and was slightly worried for a couple of minutes until I saw here in the zoom lens.
A bit later, she was back on land, and this concluded our outdoor activities with Kalhovd as base-camp. It had been an excellent stay. 8 new tops in two days plus one afternoon.
Back at Kalhovd, the place was no longer packed and I could return from the tent to our rented room, which we for sure would have all to ourselves on our last night. Tomorrow, we would leave Telemark county and head towards Buskerud for more memorable adventures…